Orchestra turns over its entire staff

Orchestra turns over its entire staff


norman lebrecht

November 15, 2017

From the Queensland Daily Review:

Twenty-seven  full-time and part-time staff have left Queensland Symphony Orchestra in just 21 months, an unusually high turnover rate for the company which currently lists 26 people on its staff. …

Orchestra insiders claim that morale at the QSO is “toxic” and an external consultant has been contracted to improve morale and company cohesiveness.

Former staff describe scenes of “backstabbing, gossip and shouting matches” among administrative staff and management leading to the staff turnover….

The orchestra’s CEO, David Pratt, and its music director, Alondra de la Parra (pictured above), both joined the company in the second half of 2016….

We couldn’t possibly comment, says the QSO.

Read on here.



  • Steve P says:

    De la Parra a possible/likely cause?

    • trolley80 says:

      A) Why do you say this?

      B) how likely is it that the music director has any influence on which staff come and go? Many of them probably only interact with her a handful of times over the course of an entire year. Far more likely to have something to do with the CEO, who actually manages these people and sets the course for the organization in as many if not more ways as the music director.

      • Ann On says:

        Indeed, one would expect that a Music Director shouldn’t have so much say over who comes and goes and the work of administrative/management staff. But there you go.

    • Joe says:

      Alondra de la Parra is a major liability for the orchestra. If she remains in the role of Music Director the organisation will go the way of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas.

  • Joe says:

    “Turns over its entire staff?” Woeful headline. So how does one explain the many staff members (9 if counted on the website) who have been at the company for more than three years?

    “Orchestra insiders” and “former staff” is probably code for one individual, whom the journalist repeatedly cites.


    • John says:

      To clarify from somebody who knows.

      The entire staff refers to the upstairs senior management.

      They have ALL gone, either getting fired, or having jumped ship

      This situation is VERY serious, and a lot more is coming!

      • SG says:

        And as far as I understand, the orchestra has been stronger than ever. Sold out concerts, vibrant new audiences, more diverse philanthropy…

        Perhaps it was time, as it is in many organisations’ lives, for fresh talent and perspective. The passing of an era to open the door to new opportunities.

      • Try think of a better pseudonym than John says:

        Read: staff members who don’t pass their probations, or get sacked for gross misconduct, whinge to the press. Compound the numbers of these one or two whingers with people moving on to different careers, moving interstate or overseas, financial restructures, getting head-hunted by organisations that pay higher than meagre arts companies, and hey presto you have a story.

  • Matthew says:

    Wow John
    Your Busy posting at all of the articles relative to this issue.
    I presume you are one of the insiders.
    I deal with a senior person at the QSO regularly and they have been there for many years ( at least 5+) So how can you claim that they are “ALL” (in cap’s even) gone.
    And the Lot more coming. Do you know of impending sackings?.
    And the math is wrong. David Pratt there since Late 2016 so what 14 months at least. Starting sacking people 7 months before he started working there.
    Now that’s some precognition. I want that super power

  • QLDer says:

    UPDATE: the Orchestra’s Board, and leading musicians, have released statements (so not “no comment”).